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Factors associated with successful establishment of breastfeeding in very preterm infants

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Abstract Aim: 

To describe feeding practices at hospital discharge in relation to characteristics of the very preterm infants (VPI) and their mothers. Methods: 

Design. Prospective hospital-based registration of very preterm infants born with a gestational age ≤32 weeks in Denmark during 2004–2008. Subjects. Healthy mothers and VPI without diseases causing eating disabilities at discharge. Results: 

A total of 478 VPI were registered. At discharge, 60% were exclusively breastfed, 35% were exclusively bottlefed, and 5% were both breast- and bottle-fed. Mothers of high social class (p = 0.000) and ‘not smoking’ (p = 0.003) were significantly more often breastfeeding their preterm infant(s) at discharge. Single births infants tended more often to be breastfed (p = 0.09). Infant age at discharge and duration of hospitalization did not influence breastfeeding at discharge. Increase in weight z-score from birth to discharge was largest in the bottlefeeding-group compared with the breastfeeding-group (p = 0.000) probably as a result of feeding practice the last week(s) of hospitalization. Conclusion: 

Breastfeeding can successfully be established in very preterm infants. Mothers of low social classes, smokers, multiple birth and very preterm infants with low weight for age may need extra attention in breastfeeding establishing policies.
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Keywords: Breastfeeding; Smoking; Social class; Very preterm infants; Z-score

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Hans Christian Andersen Children′s Hospital, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark 2: Holbaek Hospital, Holbaek, Denmark 3: Kolding Hospital, Kolding, Denmark 4: Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby, Denmark

Publication date: 2010-07-01

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